By Rodrigo Costa, founder of AG Immigration: As a nation of immigrants, the United States has always been enriched by those who come from other parts of the world to make a new life. More recently, there has been increased debate about the impact of immigrants on the American economy. However, from an economist’s point of view, the positive effects have been resounding. Immigrants bring with them a positive entrepreneurial attitude, a strong work ethic, and valuable cultural links to other markets.
Seemingly endless studies from Washington DC policy groups like the Cato Institute show that immigration plays a positive fiscal role in the US. In fact, deficit hawks at the most conservative think tanks like Cato have almost unanimously agreed that immigration has been a net positive for the US economy.
One of the biggest benefits that immigrants bring to American businesses is a diverse skill set. Immigrants often come to the United States with unique talents, experiences, and perspectives that can greatly benefit companies. According to recent reports from the National Bureau of Economic Research, immigrants are more likely to work in jobs that require specific skills and have lower rates of unemployment than native-born Americans. This means that they are well-equipped to fill jobs in industries such as healthcare, technology and engineering where there may be a shortage of skilled workers.
Additionally, immigrants often have positive entrepreneurial attitudes that can help create new businesses and generate economic growth. Immigrants are more likely to start their own businesses compared to native-born Americans. In fact, approximately 25% of all U.S. businesses are founded by immigrants and foreign-born individuals have started about 1/5 of Fortune 500 companies. This serves as a testament to the entrepreneurial potential of immigrants and their ability to create jobs and contribute to economic growth.
In states like California and Florida, immigrants play an often vital role in industries such as agriculture, construction, and hospitality. Their labor helps to increase the productivity of these industries, thereby driving economic growth. Furthermore, immigrants also have valuable links with other cultures and markets that can be a huge asset to American businesses looking to expand globally. In fact, a 2023 study from the National Foundation for American Policy found that immigrant-founded companies have created millions of jobs and generated billions of dollars in revenue.
While immigration may not be the sole engine of economic growth, its positive effects are significant. Furthermore, immigrants use social services less than the national labor force and any economic “costs” are overlapped by the value of what they produce, consume and pay as taxes themselves.Their presence and contribution make America a more vibrant, diverse, and dynamic place both socially and economically.
Another benefit of immigration to American businesses and the economy is diversity and innovation. Immigrants bring a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to American workplaces. This diversity fosters innovation by bringing new ideas and approaches to business practices. Immigrants also help to bridge cultural gaps, making it easier for businesses to expand their operations globally. Furthermore, studies have shown that diversity in the workplace can lead to increased creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Immigration also plays a crucial role in fostering global connections and trade. Immigrants bring with them valuable cultural and market knowledge from their home countries, opening up new opportunities for American businesses to expand internationally. Additionally, studies have shown that immigrant-owned businesses are more likely to export goods and services than their non-immigrant counterparts. This not only benefits individual businesses but also contributes to the overall growth of the U.S. economy through increased trade and global connections.
Another way in which immigrants benefit American businesses and the economy is by addressing labor shortages. As the U.S. population ages and birth rates decline, there is a growing demand for skilled workers in many industries. Immigrants with the necessary skills and expertise to fill these roles can help to keep American businesses competitive and ensure continued economic growth. Aviation, medicine and other STEM fields have seen shortages in recent years – perhaps the most significant seen in the lack of available pilots. Just this week Congress is voting to raise the pilot retirement age to 67, due to the pilot shortage.
In conclusion, immigrants are a vital part of the American economy and businesses. Their diverse skills, strong work ethic, and entrepreneurial spirit all contribute to the growth and success of businesses across various industries. Immigrants play a crucial role in fostering global connections, addressing labor shortages, and driving innovation. Studies show that the benefits of immigration to the American economy far outweigh any potential costs. As such, it is crucial that policymakers continue to support and encourage immigration policies that promote the inclusion of all immigrants in our society. By doing so, we can ensure not only a strong and thriving American economy but also the continuation of our country’s proud legacy as a nation of immigrants.